Updated: Aug 13, 2022
THE LORD DIRECTS THE STEPS OF THE GODLY (Part 1)
From our vantage points, life can seem overwhelming and even out of control. But He who loves us with a steadfast love is as into the details of our lives as He was when He created the details of bringing together the water and the sandy shores. As Christ said in Matthew 6:26 the Father knows every bird and cares for them. How much more for us as His prized creation! More than we could fathom. His love for us is endless and knowing that gives us the driving force to pursue a close relationship with Jesus, for Jesus is the goal of our mission. We learn to love Him and love others.
Pastors Gilbert and Mary Jane Gatdula are IT missionaries residing in Japan. They engraved in their hearts that pursuing Jesus is the goal of their mission. As they seek Jesus, their heartbeat matches His and they desire to serve Him anywhere He calls them to.
Pastor Gilbert had the desire to go to Africa and as he prayed about it, the Lord granted him to go to Africa. He was torn because he had to go to Africa with his friend leaving his new bride, Pastor Mary Jane. However, she supported his decision to go. He went to work but he also gained a lot of knowledge about missions. He was truly grateful that God sent him there to prepare him for his next mission.
When he returned to the Philippines, he had a dream about having a visa in Malaysia. Subsequently, Pastors Gilbert and Mary Jane went to a prayer mountain to further seek the Lord’s guidance. As they prayed, they met someone who introduced them to a missionary who serves in China. They were introduced to the missionary and had fellowship with her. The couple heard stories of faith and her testimony inspired them to pursue going on missions. When they were asked about their next destination, they answered that they are going to Malaysia. When they were asked again the specific location in Malaysia, Pastor Gilbert’s eyes were fixed on Penang as he looked at a map, and answered, “We will go to Penang, Malaysia”. He couldn’t explain it but something attracted him to that place.
The couple started to undergo some training to prepare themselves to go on missions. However, they couldn’t get a missionary visa to go to Malaysia. Therefore, Pastor Gilbert had to apply for a job to get a working visa. He set an appointment with a recruiter who could help him secure employment in Malaysia. They met and worked on his application. Then it was almost time for lunch, so they decided to take a break. Unfortunately, Pastor Mary Jane sprained her ankle, so Pastor Gilbert brought her to the hospital. Pastor Gilbert’s job application was put on hold while Pastor Mary Jane was recovering. Due to that incident, they were not able to move forward with their plan. But it was a blessing in disguise for they found out later that the recruiter is a fraud who deceived a lot of people. They praised God for saving them from being tricked. Indeed, the Lord directs the steps of the godly!
Since their plan to Malaysia was put on hold, Pastor Mary Jane’s sister who is married to a Japanese invited them to go to Japan. She has been inviting them in the past, but they didn’t put much thought into it. This time though, they thought of considering it. As they prayed, they believed they won’t lose anything if they go as tourists and Pastor Mary Jane would also get to meet her siblings in Japan.
The couple flew to Japan on a tourist visa. While they were in Japan, they met a man who is from Penang, Malaysia. They get acquainted and the couple feels that God’s plan is greater than what they have imagined. The Malaysian is one of the elders of a Japanese church and he introduced them to his pastor who later agreed to be the receiving church and guarantor for their missionary visa for them to return to Japan as full-time missionaries! So, it wasn’t Malaysia where they were supposed to go but a man from Penang, Malaysia who would direct them to the destiny God has prepared for them! God is indeed a God of details! It was not a coincidence at all!
After their short-term visit to Japan, they returned to the Philippines to prepare everything they would need for their long-term mission. They praised the Lord for paving the way to the country He has called them to go to! It was all God’s doing. It shows that He cares about every single detail of our lives. The God who created everything is interested in you and me.
Don't look too far to see how good God is. You don't have to look at the Bible characters to see. Just look and see what He's doing in your life. His name is Jesus. He is good and He has a purpose in your life. He knows best so we just have to trust Him wholeheartedly just like what Pastors Gilbert and Mary Jane did.
To be continued...
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)